I wasn’t sure what to expect with this book. I have been studying dream interpretation of my own dreams and helping others learn to understand their dreams for about the last twelve years. I have found that dream interpretation books generally differ greatly. I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of information that Ms. Knight packs into this 73 page book.
In Dreamwork for the Initiate’s Path, I found quick and straightforward methods that can help guide a new dreamer to finding their path to their own personal dream interpretations. The information in the book is well written and organized in an easy-to-follow progression through dream work. I found some of the book to be a bit redundant, especially in the first couple of chapters, but with anything new that you are learning, a little redundancy can be a good thing.
I’ve pulled a few sections from her book and am playing the devil’s advocate with them. I am in no way suggesting that Ms. Knight’s methods are wrong, I am simply offering the thought that what works for one person, does not necessarily work for another.
She states in her book that “Dreamwork is difficult” [Pg. 11]. In my own opinion and personal experience, Dreamwork does not have to be difficult. For some, Dreamwork can be as natural as painting an artwork masterpiece is for another. One method I discovered that helped me when I first started delving into Dreamwork was meditation. By learning to meditate and connect with my higher self (soul), I was able to more easily tap into my subconscious and learn to understand the symbolism my own mind created to convey messages to my “self” through my dreams.
Ms. Knight suggests that one make Dreamwork a ritual: bathing before sleeping, sleeping in a certain position, abstaining from sex, working with a deity, cleansing your room before sleeping, are methods that she has found work for her. This seems like an awful lot of additional work just to have a dream. Everyone dreams when they are asleep. By heaping more work on myself before sleeping, i.e.: making sure I follow a ritual beforehand, just seems like more stress I would be heaping on myself before relaxing into a natural, comfortable, dream-filled sleep.
Ms. Knight writes on page 29 of her book: “In my dreamwork, I’ve found that a month of celibacy increases the intensity of my dreams.” Although she states that this is not necessarily true for everyone she doesn’t elaborate on why. Celibacy for some can cause a restriction from dreaming simply because the stored-up energy becomes overwhelming and distracting — it’s harder to sleep when your body and mind is wound-up and stress-filled. In my personal experience, having a good romp with a partner, or even a good self-pleasuring, helps rid my body and mind of my daily stressors, brings on whole body and mind relaxation, and induces a more beneficial sleep.
In my opinion, the challenges of interpreting your dreams are mainly remembering your dreams — for which she offers some very practical advice — some of which she covers starting on page 49 in the chapter titled “Common Dream Symbols and Dream Patterns.” She also offers quite a few personal experiences and the interpretations she has found for her own personal dreams, but these interpretations may, or may not, be applicable to anyone other than her.
She also states that she found using a dream dictionary was not useful for her. However, this has not been my experience. Using a dream dictionary (depending on which one you use), can be a great starting point to help you unravel the oftentimes confusing imagery of your dream psyche. My point is: don’t discount all the tools at your disposal until you’ve given them a try and figured out which tools are going to be right for you. Ms. Knight does state several times throughout her book, “you will need to find what works [for you]”. This has also been my experience and is very important to keep in mind when reading this, or any self-help book.
I did find the chapter “Prophetic Dreams” (pg. 57) to be particularly enlightening, even for someone who has studied dreamwork to the extent that I have. She offers suggestions on why some of us might dream of events that haven’t happened yet. This chapter alone has given me a few new thoughts to consider in my own dreamwork. Yes, you can teach an old dog a new trick.
The beautiful artwork on the cover and displayed in the book is Ms. Knight’s original artwork and representative of each of the chapters that the artwork precedes. Further examples of her artwork can be found on her website: www.shaunaauraknight.com Yes, I am recommending you go take a look at her richly detailed artwork.
All in all, I found the book to be a bountiful wealth of information; rife with suggestions on getting started with your own personal Dreamwork, but I do feel this book is truly for the initiate–the beginner who has very little experience, or no foundation in Dreamwork, but wants to start understanding and interpreting their dreams. I would recommend this book to any initiate who wants to take up the path of dream worker.
[Karen Yun-Lutz is mother to five children, a writer, photographer, and graphic designer and is a metaphysical and Pagan-friendly Eclectic. Her stories have been published in Triangulation, a Parsecink.com annual anthology. Her hobbies are videography and video editing. In her spare time she likes to dream big!]